The annual Heritage Open Days extravaganza returns this month and Harpenden's Rothamsted Manor is once again taking part in England’s largest festival of history and culture.

Every September thousands of venues across England organise events to celebrate our fantastic history and culture.

It's everyone’s chance to see hidden places – all of which are free to explore.

Herts Advertiser: Guests outside Rothamsted Manor.Guests outside Rothamsted Manor. (Image: Supplied by Rothamsted Enterprises)

Rothamsted Manor is a stunningly beautiful Grade I listed manor house, set in acres of Hertfordshire woodland with beautiful surrounding gardens.

Known as Hertfordshire’s hidden gem, Rothamsted Manor sits in the historically significant Rothamsted Estate, home to some of the world’s oldest and most important agricultural research work.

The theme of this year's festival is 'Edible England' and the folks at Rothamsted know a thing or two about food production.

Nicole Sadd, chief executive of Rothamsted Enterprises, said: “We are absolutely delighted to once again be part of Heritage Open Days.

"The Manor has a rich and enormously significant history, and one which links directly to the agricultural research that takes place on our estate today. We are always delighted to share it with our community.

"This year’s event is particularly enjoyable for us because it is all about food and so is an ideal opportunity for us to share the science and research of Rothamsted.”

Herts Advertiser: Max uses a magnifying glass at Rothamsted to investigate creepy crawlies which attack crops.Max uses a magnifying glass at Rothamsted to investigate creepy crawlies which attack crops. (Image: Supplied by Rothamsted Enterprises)

Guests can look forward to a number of fun food activities, including a ‘Crimes against Crops’ trail where guests are invited to solve a crime wave that is sweeping our farmers’ fields.

Visitors will also be able to learn how to make a mould biodome with bread, and taste ‘Claret Cup’, the drink of choice for visitors to the Manor in the 1800s.

One of the highlights of the house is the extensive murals from the 1500s which are usually hidden under wooden panelling to prevent damage. But this year they will be uncovered for all to see.

Herts Advertiser: Mini golf in the grounds of Rothamsted Manor, Harpenden.Mini golf in the grounds of Rothamsted Manor, Harpenden. (Image: Supplied by Rothamsted Enterprises)

Guests can also look forward to self-guided house and garden tours, and cream teas in the historic library (booking required).

There are further activities in the grounds too, including scavenger hunts, face painting, lawn games, rock painting, and the very popular ‘Make your own Bee Hotel’.

This year, there are five open days held between September 11 and September 19, one of which is a ‘quieter day’ for those that prefer to avoid the crowds and children’s activities.

Herts Advertiser: Inside Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.Inside Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. (Image: © 2016 GnBri Photography. All Rights Reserved.)

Heritage Open Days at Rothamsted Manor

Open dates:

Saturday, September 11: 10am – 5pm.

Sunday, September 12: 10am – 5pm.

Tuesday, September 14: 10am – 5pm (quiet day, no children’s activities, just house tours and cream teas).

Saturday, September 18: 10am – 5pm.

Sunday, September 19: 10am – 5pm.

Booking link:

Herts Advertiser: The Hall of Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden.The Hall of Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden. (Image: Madara Kurtisa Photography)